Equity Crowdfunding Down Under

By Jonathan Wilson CrowdFunding Beat Guest Contributor  A Committee, appointed by the Australian Treasury, has released a Report, making proposals for the modernization of the Australian financial system, including the adoption of rules to facilitate crowdfunding.

The Report does not have the force of law and is subject to comments from industry and other stakeholders, with the comment period expected to last through March 31, 2015.

The Australian Financial System Inquiry was created by the Australian Treasury to develop a blueprint for the modernization of the Australian financial system.

According to the FSI’s website:

Previous financial system inquiries, including the Campbell Report in 1981 and Wallis Report in 1997, were the catalysts for major economic reforms in Australia. The Campbell Report led to the floating of the Australian dollar and the deregulation of the financial sector. Whilst the Wallis Inquiry led to streamlined financial services regulation, the creation of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), and the current form of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

These reforms underpinned Australia’s economic stability and growth over the past thirty years. The deregulation of the financial sector has meant the volume and quality of financial services in Australia has dramatically improved, while the restructure of financial regulators is considered to be one of the main reasons Australia weathered the global financial crisis well relative to international peers.

It has been sixteen years since the last financial system inquiry. While the financial sector has served Australia well in this time, it has been transformed by forces such as domestic and international economic and financial crises, a substantial regulatory reform agenda, the growth in superannuation, changes in industry structure, new competitive dynamics, technology, innovation and broader macroeconomic trends.

Australia is only the world’s 12th largest income but has the 5th highest income per capita. Adopting a robust crowdfunding system in the country would be a significant step towards the recognition of crowdfunding on a global basis.

Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan B. Wilson is a partner in the corporate law department of Taylor English Duma where he represents growing companies in finance, securities and technology matters. He can be reached at jwilson@taylorenglish.com.

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